- Improve the health status of vulnerable people in targeted areas.
- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.
- Promote respect for diversity and human dignity, and reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion.
- Enhance the service delivery capacity of Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) at all levels.
The major activities during the reporting period include the following:
Disaster management: The ARCS disaster management programme through its 34 branches, volunteer network and the support of the International Federation achieved some progress during the reporting period. Coping capacities of vulnerable populations in targeted disaster prone communities were strengthened through the conduct of community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) training workshops, refresher courses and follow-up visits. A total of 555 new CBDP volunteers, including 40 women, were recruited and trained, 14 local disaster preparedness (DP) committees were established and the people in disaster prone provinces were educated about the risk of natural hazards thus increasing their awareness.
An emergency operational centre (EOC) was established at the headquarters to improve the ARCS disaster response capacity. A disaster response unit (DRU) consisting of 12 staff and volunteers was established in the eastern region and two existing DRUs have been equipped with the required operational kits and a stand-by vehicle. Construction of a regional DP warehouse in Herat branch is now 60 per cent complete. Its construction was only made possible with the financial support from the Danish government through the Danish Red Cross.
The skills of ARCS staff and volunteers in the area of disaster management have been strengthened and the national society partnership with government authorities, Movement components and other national and international stakeholders improved. Furthermore, a contingency plan for a major earthquake in Kabul city and flooding contingency plans for 21 provinces (81 districts) were finalized and approved by the ARCS management. The annual plan for 2010-11 including logical framework, plan of action and related budget were developed.
Afghanistan experienced severe winter conditions, including heavy snowfall and avalanches, early in January 2009 in the central, north and north eastern regions. Subsequently, in mid-March following heavy rains and increased snow melt, flash flooding occurred. In addition, on 17 April 2009 an earthquake with a magnitude 5.6 on Richter scale struck Shirzad district of Nangarhar province. While the earthquake damage was localised and devastating, both flooding and earthquake events caused widespread damage to infrastructure and livelihoods in the western, south-west, northern and eastern parts of the country as well as the central highlands. A total number of 9,651 families (57,906 individuals) were affected and over 80 people killed and 130 more were injured.